Category: Weight Loss Secrets
How much sex is equivalent to a slice of cheese? And how hard is it to make up for a donut? How much exercise is needed to offset your favourite snacks?
The gym bunny’s equation is simple enough: calories in versus calories out. After you’ve worked up a sweat in the gym, you should have gained the licence to treat yourself to a snack afterwards.
In practice, the maths is difficult to get right: it’s all too easy to overestimate how much we’ve burnt in a session, and underestimate the calories in a snack. The depressing result is that many people (up to 68%, in one study) hoping to shed pounds actually put on weight during their exercise regime.
Fortunately, BBC Future has scoured Harvard Medical School’s comprehensive table of the calories burned during everything from sex to long-distance cycling. Using this information, we equated exactly what it would take to burn off your favourite snacks. (The exact figures will vary from person to person – all the data here assumes an 11-stone, or 70kg, frame.)
Compared to sleeping (which itself burns some calories), even something as simple as sitting at a computer, chewing gum or reading a book is equivalent to eating some modest nibbles. You may be surprised, however, by just how little you have earned during seemingly energetic everyday activities, such as sex – or how far you have to travel before you have burnt off a burger and chips. Exercise offers many benefits besides weight loss, of course. But if you are aspiring to a trimmer, more toned figure (or simply want to remain a stable weight), it’s worth knowing the facts before you hit the gym or raid the pantry.
You’ve committed to squeezing in a workout between your commute and your desk job, but before you embark on this new regimen, you want to know: When’s the best time to exercise to ensure you’re getting the most out of it?
Research covered by Gretchen Reynolds in The New York Times suggests that working out early in the morning — before you’ve eaten breakfast — helps speed weight loss and boost energy levels by priming the body for an all-day fat burn.
The No-snooze Payoff
One of the reasons working out first thing in the morning helps us lose weight — or at least protects us from gaining it — is that it pushes the body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel, as opposed to simply “burning off” our most recent snack or meal.
In one recent study, 28 young, healthy men spent six weeks eating a hefty diet of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than they had been eating before. But while some of them spent the six weeks stuffing themselves and barely exercising, the others started working out every day. Of those who worked out, half did so first thing in the morning; the other half hit the gym (and did the same workout) after a high-carb breakfast. The fasting exercisers ate the same breakfast; they just did so after working out.
At the end of the volunteers’ month-and-a-half eating fest, the ones who hadn’t worked out at all had, unsurprisingly, packed on the weight — about 6 pounds each. The ones who had been exercising after breakfast gained weight, too, but only about half as much.
In comparison, the people who worked out daily but hit the gym before breakfast hadn’t gained any weight at all. They had been able to eat a lot of extra food — just as much as their fellow volunteers — without paying the price in additional pounds.
The study was small, short term, used a specific eating plan, and involved only men close to age 21, so it’s hard to extrapolate much from the results. And the fasting exercisers didn’t lose weight; they just didn’t gain weight. Still, the experiment provided some of the first evidence that “early morning exercise in the fasted state is more potent than an identical amount of exercise in the fed state,” the authors write.
Another smaller study helps point out why timing could be so important. In it, two groups of men ran on treadmills until they burned 400 calories (about the equivalent of a small meal, or three to four slices of toast). While one group ran on an empty stomach, the other ate a 400-calorie oatmeal breakfast about an hour before their workout.
All of the runners burned fat during their workouts and remained in a heightened fat-burning state after they had gotten off their treadmills. But both results were more intense for the runners who had skipped the oatmeal. In other words, exercising after a long period of not eating could be setting us up for a longer, more intense fat burn.
Set Your Clocks
Another component of the early-morning workout regimen can help with weight loss: daylight. Aligning our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, with the natural world helps give our metabolisms a boost. One recent study showed that people who basked in bright sunlight within two hours after waking tended to be thinner and better able to manage their weight than people who didn’t get any natural light, regardless of what they ate throughout the day.
So next time you think about hitting snooze, remember this: An early-morning workout might not just help you meet your fitness goals, but it could even give you more energy than those few extra minutes of shut-eye.
It feels good to be thin!
Keep your goals and motivation in mind – it will keep you on track especially if times get a little hard.
For years overweight women have had numerous types of diet/weight loss plans to choose from when attempting to lose weight. Neglected underweight women never had any type of instructional information which would them lose weight in systematic, scientific, step-by-step fashion. Losing weight isn’t easy and does take effort and dedication, but as your clothes start getting looser and you start feeling healthier, I think that you will find it easier to feel motivated. You won’t be happy making any changes until it does.
It’s just plain and simple– we don’t like to do what we’re not ready and willing to do. You really shouldn’t be trying to lose weight if you’re not prepared to do the hard work it takes to maintain that weight loss. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and the dieting blues! Because how depressing is it to have lost 50 pounds only to gain back 60?! And it’s probably better if you think of it as ‘getting healthy’ instead of ‘losing weight’, but to my shame, I’m not quite there yet!
I have one incentive/motivation or whatever you want to call it: Health. I want to be healthy and you cannot be healthy and obese. Just want to feel happy and enjoy life.
Remember keep to basic, simple things you can do each day to help you – drink lots of water, try to eat at least 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables a day and be as active as possible.
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence- that will enable you to attain the success you seek. Sooooo… you have no motivation huh??? How about you work out today and I will too? Look at your goal weight hun… you are closer than you think. Summer is here again… and… you are going to hit that goal. I know that you can.
Stick with your calorie quota and I can ensure that you will lose weight. It is important to stick to your daily calorie quota to achieve weight loss. I can assure you that if you fill in your food diary with everything you eat and drink you will lose weight. If you set yourself small and achievable goals it will motivate you to go further when you reach them.
Related Link: View more Fitness and Weight Loss articles
Clearly, a healthy person of ordinary common sense will not choose to deplete his vitality, lower his resistance to infection, and court anaemia among other complex ailments merely in order to face himself more cheerfully in a full-length mirror. Well, there are serious reasons to worry about overweight. Its health hazards are well enough known to cause that same sensible person to take thought when his scale starts inching upward.
But-you’re overweight. You have taken thought. You’ve tried starving, calorie-counting, exercise. In each case the results were the same–either there were none, or a few pounds slipped off only to be immediately replaced the moment you returned to anything like a normal diet. In addition you almost lost both your job and your marriage as it became impossible for any individual, however well adjusted, to get along with you. Yet still you waken to each new day aware that for another twenty-four hours you are going to ask your heart to service a plant that may be five, ten, or with really bad luck even twenty pounds heavier than it is efficiently equipped to manage. What to do?
First, if you haven’t already done so, check with your doctor. Second (and contingent upon the outcome of that interview) read the rest of this book. The low carbohydrate diet may be your answer.
Suppose that you are fortunate enough to have a doctor whose concern for your health outweighs his verbal tact.
He gives you a thoughtful look, puts down his pen and says, ‘My friend, we are speaking not of overweight, but of obesity.’ In that case, forget this book, or give it to a friend.
Obesity-gross overweight-is a medical classification, not a cosmetic one. If you are truly obese, neither this diet nor any other should be self-applied. You belong entirely in your doctor’s hands, a slave to the letter of any regimen which he, after careful tests, tailors for you. It is possible that you are one of those individuals whose bodies, for reasons not yet fully understood, do not deal in the normal way with food.
The oldest cliches in the folklore of dieting are type A, who cannot look at a slice of beef without gaining four pounds, and type B, who remains underweight on a steady intake of heavy cream, French toast, and chocolate cake.
The next time you overhear a luncheon conversation in which these two unfortunates are exchanging complaints, don’t assume that A has been sneaking down to midnight feasts of fried pork chops and sweet potatoes, or that B is merely trying to endow herself with a touch of the piquantly peculiar. It is entirely possible that they are telling the truth. Any doctor numbers among his patients some who accumulate weight on very reasonable diets, and others who cannot cover their bones no matter how hard they try.
The answer may be metabolic, psychological, glandular, or a complex combination of some or all of these; it may lie along biochemical lines yet to be explored. The one certainty is that in individuals at these extremes, body chemistry does not perform in the predictable manner.
Fitness. A simple word whose meaning is far-reaching and occupies almost every corner of our lives. Be it physical, emotional or mental, our fitness dictates how we function, and all aspects of it are intertwined – with one consistently affecting the other.
Physical fitness is about more than just losing weight or gaining muscle – it’s about laying down a foundation upon which your life can be built. A body in a positive physical state becomes a tremendous asset to draw from both inside the gym and out when it comes to issues such as alleviating stress, the promotion of healthier personal and professional relationships, learning how to better manage your time (and follow through on commitments) by way of scheduled activity, and an overall sense of mental clarity.
The “why” of fitness and its importance is easy to answer – but the “how” can be arrived at in a number of ways. You might enjoy participating in a sport-related activity (tennis, squash, golf), or you could get together with your friends to take part in a group class (aerobic, yoga, spinning). Of course, there are also individuals that prefer to simply grab a pair of dumbbells and have at it or jump on a treadmill and run the day away. Everyone is unique in how they pursue their fitness goals – but we all share a common purpose: to make tomorrow better than yesterday.
Let us help you with your fitness goals – however you choose to pursue them. We know that you will come to realize the Ottawa Athletic Club is more than a fitness centre – it will ultimately be the center of your fitness.
Related: View more fitness secrets
You are so excited! After months of hard work, you finally fit into those jeans you couldn’t button not too long ago. You can see those muscles that you always knew were hiding under that fat. You finally finished your first half marathon! No matter what the goal, it’s a great feeling when you put it in your sights and actually accomplished it.
During those months, you were diligent with your workouts (never skipping), prepared your meals in advance (so you wouldn’t make bad impromptu choices). But you decide to go out and “celebrate” for a drink. Then two. Then you say, “What the hell, bring on some nachos!” –you deserve it, right? After that, you have to satisfy that sweet tooth, right? So, you take the “Willy Wonka” train to the nearest frozen yogurt café and load it up with all the fixings!
You say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with one night of celebrating.” Except, you wake up the next morning and before you even realize what you’re doing, you find yourself rummaging through the cupboards for that box of Pop-Tarts you bought three months ago,. Once you find yourself staring at the bottom of an empty cardboard box that once was home to “God’s gift to the breakfast pastry” and say, “What did I do!? Well the day is shot, might as well go out with a bang, and start fresh tomorrow! Chinese for dinner!”
Bad move! One day leads to two…then a week. Then a month. Those jeans begin to get tighter. You get aggravated. You start to go in a downward spiral and you lose the motivation to work out and prepare your foods. Everything you worked so hard for and that made you feel so good isgone, and for what? A quick fling with some sweet tasting treats?
Here’s the thing…every day makes a difference. You cannot train hard and eat right only three days out of the week and expect to see a positive change. There is no five days on, two days off (more commonly known as the weekend) schedule that you can follow and still expect to see results. Fitness is every day. It doesn’t need to be 100%, but it should be close.
Though, one isolated cheat meal won’t affect you, what’s really going to get you in trouble is if you extend that meal through the weekend. Repeatedly. Then slowly let it leak into Monday, Tuesday, and the rest of the week. Pretty soon, your weight is creeping back up. Little bites are nothing, but added together they become something big. Just because I may steal a few of my kids M&M’s (please, don’t call DCYF), it doesn’t mean I’m not consuming calories. They add up, and, especially if I do it repeatedly, it can easily equal a whole bag.
Again, being fit is a lifestyle; it should be made a habit. Do you brush your teeth? Why? The answer isn’t because it so much fun and tastes delicious! It is because of the consequences of not doing it. What are they? Let’s see…gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, stained teeth, and ultimately decaying, loose teeth that might need to be pulled out.
Exercising is the same thing. Hopefully, you enjoy it more than brushing your teeth. But, more importantly, think of all the great things you get from exercising. Exercise makes every aspect of life better. And what are the consequences of not exercising? Let’s see…osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, tendinitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, decreased metabolism, lethargy, and weight gain.
The cabbage soup diet is generally considered a fad diet. As the name suggests, the diet requires that you eat large amounts of cabbage soup for a week. During that time, you can also eat certain fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken and brown rice, according to a set schedule.
Proponents of the cabbage soup diet say it’s a good way to quickly lose a few pounds. You may lose weight on the diet because it drastically limits calories. But it may not be fat that you’re losing. It might be water weight or even lean tissue, since it’s hard to burn that many fat calories in such a short period.
Because the cabbage soup diet is low in complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, you shouldn’t stay on it for more than a week at a time.
The cabbage soup diet has other disadvantages. Depending on the recipe for cabbage soup, the diet can be high in sodium. The large amounts of cabbage also can make you more prone to flatulence. Because you’re not getting proper nutrition, you may feel weak or tired while on the diet. And once you stop the diet, it’s easy to regain any weight that you lost.
Fad diets like this one may be tempting, but keep in mind that long-term weight loss depends on making lasting healthy changes in your eating and exercise habits.
For most healthy people, a high-protein diet generally isn’t harmful, particularly when followed for a short time. Such diets may help with weight loss by making you feel fuller.
However, the risks of using a high-protein diet with carbohydrate restriction for the long term are still being studied. Several health problems may result if a high-protein diet is followed for an extended time:
— Some high-protein diets restrict carbohydrate intake so much that they can result in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber, which can cause problems such as bad breath, headache and constipation.
— Some high-protein diets include foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, which may increase your risk of heart disease.
— A high-protein diet may worsen kidney function in people with kidney disease because your body may have trouble eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism.
If you want to follow a high-protein diet, choose your protein wisely. Good choices include soy protein, beans, nuts, fish, skinless poultry, lean beef, pork and low-fat dairy products. Avoid processed meats.
The quality of the carbohydrates (carbs) you eat is important too. Cut processed carbs from your diet, and choose carbs that are high in fiber and nutrient-dense, such as whole grains and vegetables and fruit.
It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting a weight-loss diet. And that’s especially important in this case if you have kidney disease, diabetes or other chronic health condition.
Finally, keep in mind that weight loss may be temporary, especially if you return to your previous way of eating. The best eating plan is one that you can stick to long-term.
One woman went from 330 pounds to 147 in two years after discovering a free service on the Web.
Amber Schalansky had struggled with her weight since she was 10 years old. “Over the years, I tried every program you can think of,” says the 33-year-old from Sacramento, CA. “It usually involved paying for food or a plan, but nothing worked long-term.”
Amber was discouraged by the money she’d spent on programs until her mother told her about a website called Spark People where, for free, she found a supportive community plus food and exercise tracking tools. “Stress is a big trigger for me, so if I wanted to dive into a bag of chips, I went online to SparkPeople and someone talked me out of it,” says Amber, who went from 330 pounds to 147 in two years. “My life’s completely changed.”
Anyone who’s tried to lose weight can tell you it’s no piece of cake, which is why so many dieters turn to structured programs. But effective plans don’t have to be pricey. Try one of these low- to no-cost approaches to losing weight, all of which provide the tools, resources and support you need.
This new-to-the-scene snack food features all the buzzwords that make it sound like the ultimate healthy snack: It’s a superfood! And gluten-free! There’s protein and fiber! The problem: They’re basically corn chips with a little quinoa thrown in, says Kelly Schmidt, a nutritionist and blogger at Paleo Infused Nutrition.
And the quinoa itself has been so highly processed that it’s lost the nutritional boost that made it healthy in the first place. Need proof? Just compare the stats of one cup of cooked quinoa (8g protein, 5g fiber) to one serving of quinoa chips (1g protein, less than 1g fiber)—and then listen to your stomach make noise because it’s still going to be hungry.
Nutritionists always say popcorn is a healthy snack, and it is, so long as it’s made right. “The microwaveable kind has cancer-causing chemicals in them,” explains Palanisamy. One is called PFOA, which the EPA says is likely a cancerous carcinogen that’s found in the plastic of the bag. The other is in the butter flavor, and it’s known as diactyl, an organic compound that’s been linked with breathing issues and lung disease, thus making “popcorn lung” a real—and serious—health concern.
Fat-Free Cheese or Greek Yogurt
The obsession with low- and no-fat products we had in the ’90s still lingers, but reaching for them isn’t better than grabbing the full-fat kind. Researchers found that people who ate full-fat dairy tend to have lower body weight, less weight gain, and a lower risk of obesity compared to those who continued the fad.
They think it’s likely because when you remove fat from dairy, you also strip away beneficial fatty acids that can help you feel full, so you end up eating more in the long run. Plus, a lot of people opt for flavored yogurt, which has tons of sugar that, once again, put your blood sugar on a crazy roller coaster ride.
These salty bites may sound like a smart snack since they’re lower in fat and calories than potato chips, but they actually won’t do your waistline any favors. “They don’t contain any nutrients,” says Palanisamy. “They’re basically all carbs and loaded with sodium,” so they’ll put your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride, spiking your levels sky-high only to make you hungry as soon as it drops back down.
Chips made with sweet potato, beets, or parsnip—those ought to be healthy, what with vegetables being the primary ingredient and all. But Palanisamy says they’re pretty high in fat—around 9g per serving—and it’s not the good kind. The oils used range from canola to sunflower or safflower, all of which contain omega-6 fatty acids, which promote inflammation that’s been linked with autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Plus, the whole reason you’re eating them—because you want those good-for-you nutrients from the veggies—is a farce. Palanisamy says the chips have been stripped of those benefits, and they provide no protein and little-to-no fiber.
These have the perpetual stigma of being a smart, low-cal “diet food,” and sure, they’re not the worst idea in the world. “Rice cakes can make a good snack for people who are transitioning toward a gluten-free diet if it’s a smart health decision for them to do so,” says Schmidt. But since they’re high in carbs, they’re high on the glycemic index, and a recent study found a potential link between high-glycemic foods and lung cancer. Not to mention high-glycemic foods tend to cause your blood sugar to spike, then crash, which makes you hungry all over again shortly after you snack.
The breakfast staple usually plays a major role in taming mid-afternoon hunger because it’s fast, convenient, and you can eat it straight from the bag. But therein lies the danger—it’s super easy to eat a reasonable portion, and then some more, and more after that.
Then you’ve blown over 200 calories on an unsatisfying snack, because most of the time it’s made from refined grains that aren’t rich in nutrients, says Palanisamy. Another problem: Boxes tout being “high in fiber,” but it’s usually insoluble fiber that’s been shown to cause irritation in the gut, bloating, and other GI issues, he adds. Healthier, soluble fiber is what you find in foods like barley or beans.
Sadly, “popping” chips instead of baking or frying them doesn’t make much of a nutritional difference, says Palanisamy. Yes, they slash the fat content in half compared to regular potato chips, but they don’t offer any micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, and their paltry fiber and protein quotas (1g of each)—not to mention calorie count—is comparable to what you find in a serving of the regular stuff.
Seems like a genius idea: Grab a bag and you have a pre-portioned, calorie-conscious snack at your convenience for those times you’re craving dessert. But you’re better off grabbing a more caloric snack that has tons of nutrients to actually keep you full. “When you’re eating a small 100-calorie bag of cookies or crackers, you’re not really getting what you want,” says Schmidt. And that makes you much more likely to reach for another, and another, and another.